Body of Water

There's a comedy show at this year's Fringe entitled All Young People Are C*nts. I haven't seen it, but Body Of Water seemed to capably transmit the same piece of information; it's the story of a group of gap-year-friendly, intermittently committed activists who try to bring down the capitalist system by taking a lot of drugs and listening to abrasive rave music. Of course, the show critiques rather than supports this particular lifestyle of privileged leisure, and the group of squatters hosting the party at which events are set were never meant to win audience approval. Unfortunately, this bunch of tiresome, chemically stupid narcissists are as dull to watch as they must be to live with, confirming my general impression that this is the sort of party I'm glad I don't get invited to.It might help if the characters outside the main group were fun, incisive, or if not likeable then at least attractively unpleasant. Sadly the out-of-place working class guests are underdeveloped and equally annoying. The short, crowded scenes and brutal sonic interludes made it feel like the entire play had been written on Twitter by somebody with an iPod shuffle and a three-second attention span, and if it were meant to be mimetic of the queasy pace and over-stimulation of a saturated modern culture, then it was hard to notice over all the noise. It's the kind of aggressively 'now' theatre that in commenting on the fleeting shallowness of everything finds it hard to create any kind of lasting profundity for itself, to communicate any message other than the instant. And it's not the points of reference – the same venue's Phillipa And Will Are Now In A Relationship got much more artistic vitality out of new media culture, with much less intended weightiness – it's the blandness of their incessant use.One redeeming feature is a compelling and surprising murder-mystery plot, generating more interest and excitement than the rest of the dialogue combined. Given that Body Of Water doesn't want to be Lewis, I can see why no more of the characters were killed off in a horrific series of hedonism-related 'accidents'; but in some ways, it would probably have helped.

Reviews by Richard O'Brien

The Blurb

In a dilapidated mansion in central London, a group of squatters host a party to launch their anti-capitalist campaign: a raucous rave that will destroy the house and change their lives forever.